University puts its Circus Street plans on hold

Cllr Warren Morgan, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, a the Circus Street site in 2015
Cllr Warren Morgan, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, a the Circus Street site in 2015

The University of Brighton has announced it will delay the construction of its new academic building at Circus Street.

The new academic building was set to be part of the redevelopment of the old market in Brighton, but the University said it ‘wants to ensure that the plans for Circus Street can best meet its future needs’.

The new designs for the public square and Dance Space SUS-170315-110254001

The new designs for the public square and Dance Space SUS-170315-110254001

A spokesperson added: “This is in the context of a rapidly changing UK higher education sector.”

Developers said plans for the regeneration of Circus Street - where work has already began - will otherwise remain the same as that approved in September 2014 and will include The Dance Space, a new home for South East Dance; 142 new homes, 28 of which will be affordable; 450 student bedrooms in managed halls of residence; and 38,000 sq ft of new office space.

The development is a joint scheme by U+I Plc, Brighton & Hove City Council and the University of Brighton.

The site allocated for the new academic building will now be landscaped to form part of the public space at Circus Street, while a decision is made on the timing of its future development.

In the interim, the University said it will remain in St Peter’s House and will continue to invest in the development.

Demolition works are preparing the site for the building work which is expected to recommence later this year.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesperson said: “A report to the council’s policy, resources and growth committee on March 23 will ask councillors to give the go-ahead to agreeing the various legal documents and land transactions with the developer Cathedral (Brighton) and the University of Brighton, to allow construction work to commence at Circus Street.

“The report outlines a changed development scenario, with the University deferring the construction of its Academic Building while it considers its future options on the site.

“In the meantime, Cathedral would appoint a construction partner to proceed on building the remainder of the mixed-use development. This would include the long-awaited dance studio, housing, student housing and office space.” The University of Brighton has been approached for a comment.

More to follow.